Design Notes, Hallas and others

And I’m back, this time with more random notes on characters for Feast of the End, Lightning Heart. Also, there are still spoilers to my story, so I hope you will finish the book first.

Also, as of this being written, NaNoWriMo is coming up. I think I want to try joining it, even though I’ll probably fail badly. But what the hey. As of what I’m planning, what I want is to use the idea that came to me most recently, that way I have as little time to plan as possible. Yep, it’s going to be ridiculous.

Anyway, onto the characters. First up, Hallas

He was designed to be the hero, oddly enough. In most other stories, it would be him. He’s the one thrown into the battle arena, he’s the one that escapes, he’s the one with connections to a witch. I haven’t given his side of the story all the full details, but I try to make sure it has a matching timeline to what Selaf is doing. There are even characters in the book related more to him than Selaf, such as his foe, Dharuta.

What’s he’s up to will become much more important later on, though Selaf will always be the main character. He’s just the hero.

I don’t mention it in this book, but he’s a Lumian, a people with wildly colored hair. The tattoo magic the Lumian’s magical skill. I’ll discuss that more once he reenters the story.

Mina

Originally, she was designed as sort of a minor character, someone to play off Selaf until Sophy was introduced later on. There might be some similarities between the two characters. Well, at least they aren’t going to be meeting each other for the time being.

Once I wrote with her over several chapters, it just didn’t seem right to completely drop her out of the story. It would feel as kind of a large buildup for a character that never appeared again.

So early on, I decided Mina would be part of Hallas’s story as a sort of hero saves the girl kind of thing. She goes off with Hallas and is the heroine in his side of the story. I’m going to try and move her beyond a foil for Selaf, as Selaf has others now. She really does care about Selaf and thinks of them as friends, but there are more important people in her life.

Cal

If Mina was meant to only be a character for the early chapters, then Cal was only meant to be in one chapter to show off how Selaf doesn’t care about other people. He was originally just an unnamed boy that Selaf was supposed to stop and then that’s it. And then the bad thoughts about how he was going to be sent to Scar Hound set in.

I guess, to me, it felt too unhappy to do that to a child, so I had him break out with Hallas on that day. Then I had to have him in the story as well, though I decided to make him loyal to his home of Anmaul. The thing about Anmaul is that no one sees anything wrong with slavery as long as it isn’t happening to them. Even Cal is willing to accept it. he just prefers to be home.

He is a resourceful kid with actual friends on the streets, so he’s probably going to be okay. I don’t think he’s about to go find Selaf any time soon. Though they’re okay with each other, they aren’t exactly friends, more like acquantainces that will see each other and then pretend not to.

Next time, I’ll discuss the members of the Shining Sun Order.

Advertisements

Sitcoms

Well, this is another semi-random topic from me. This time, it’s about old sitcoms. By old, I mean around the 1990’s. I recently started catching reruns of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air again, and then came several reunion articles on these old shows which got me thinking about them even more.

Growing up, I really enjoyed watching sitcoms. They were my favorite genre of television. And I think I was under ten at the time, definitely in elementary school. My parents some of the sitcoms I wanted to watch was pretty weird. One of the ones I really liked was Frasier, which my parents were against since the main character was 40 or something. I liked watching the neuroticness of Frasier and Niles, though.

Other sitcoms I watched included the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Boy Meets World, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld (of course). My TV watching really revolved around sitcoms. Seinfeld was good, but it wasn’t my favorite. If there were conflicts, I would tend to watch the other show.

Seinfeld still provided many memorable moments. One I really liked was the episode where Jerry accidentally slams the car trunk onto a man’s fingers. The man things Jerry is some kind of badass for the rest of the episode. He somehow gets trapped in the trunk and then overheads Jerry laughing about making someone bothering Elaine disappear. It was an imaginary problem, but that man still burst in at the end of the episode accusing Jerry of murdering the dead man’s funeral Jerry was attending. I thought that was an awesome setup throughout the episode.

I even watched Wings and Taxi, though I saw Christopher Lloyd first in Back to the Future and then Toonstruck. Oddly enough, the one old sitcom I barely watched was Cheers, therefore I didn’t know Frasier’s old drinking buddies. Ted Danson on CSI is pretty great, though, and I actually saw the episode where he appeared in Taxi.

Looking around the cable channels, a lot of these are on rerun again. I might start picking up a few of them to watch. They’re all sill great now. The difference between shows then and now is pretty striking. Sex and sexiness weren’t as important. Both men and women dressed neater, with less emphasis on looking sexy and more on looking elegant. I do think the idea that sex sells has been taken a bit too far in recent television. There are a lot more jokes to do.

But I’m glad for rediscovering these great old sitcoms and having all the new style sitcoms, too. Variety is the spice of life, and perhaps I watch way too much TV. For people that have not seen most of the old sitcoms, I would recommend watching them. They’re well-crafted shows that balance humor and seriousness. With DVR, it’s easier than ever to find them.

Edit: Wow, I can’t believe I forgot about Saved by the Bell. Weird, too, since I’m watching White Collar, which has Tiffani-Amber Thiessen in it. That show was pretty good, as well, though I didn’t watch it as much as others, the show was, and is, still great fun. There might be other’s I’m forgetting, but I’m sure I enjoyed them if I watched them.

All those shows back then, while not totally child suitable, wasn’t that bad as far as allowing every age group to enjoy. There was a lot of things done differently back then, but they’re still more than enjoyable now.

Well, that’s my nostalgia trip. I should go find some Cheers to watch.

Gravity

I recently went to see Gravity, a movie with a minimal cast that worked really well. I enjoyed the movie a lot. This post will be some of my thoughts on the movie. Thinking about what to write, trying to avoid specific scenes and spoilers is hard, but I’ll try.

This movie feels pretty different from anything I’ve seen before. There’s only two major characters, and minor characters are really minor. They don’t get in the way much of the main characters. The movie is mostly about surviving in space when something goes horribly wrong and your normal plans are all shot up. It feels refreshing and fun. I especially love the first person segments. Those are some of the most enjoyable, I feel.

Having such a small cast really works in favor for this movie. No other people are needed and there are no unnecessary side distractions. It gives great focus to the movie and prevents it from running too long. At times, I think movies are way too long now. Sure, you get more for your money, but Gravity gives a focused experience without many lulls. Even in the calm parts, you can feel the tension throughout.

The effects through the movie are great and fun to watch. The scenes of the Earth from space are great, but I found the most breathtaking shots to be the ones that show just how vast space really is. Objects floating away slowly  There is a real feeling of isolation and weightlessness. The fear of just floating off without an anchor is presented very well, thanks in a large part to the acting of Sandra Bullock.

She portrays the fear of being lost in space extremely well, from trying to stay calm to completely losing it. Her interaction with fellow star George Clooney is fun to watch as well. They work great together and are fun to watch. I have never once wanted more than those two characters during the movie. Of course, there are a few minor characters, such as mission control back on Earth, but Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are the only two major characters needed.

George Clooney is his usual charming seld and brings a air of light-heartness to the grim situation. Not sure how much more I can say without spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that.

I almost forgot, the sound direction in the movie is great. A lot of the time, it follows what the characters would logically hear. Because they’re in space, a lot of potentially loud things are completely silent. The lack of sound in many scenes really help set the tone and mood.

I really enjoyed Gravity, and I would recommend that everyone (over the age rating) go see it. It is a fun movie that is packed with strong emotion and great zero-g action.

Design Notes – Sorcnon Characters

Hmm, I suppose I’ll now talk a bit about some other characters.

Let’s start with Dess Mióne. Now that I look back on how the world has developed, her sense of dress really doesn’t fit in with anything. Her original design sort of invokes a dominatrix, but I was actually going for some kind of spy thriller. Of course the platform shoes make no sense at all anywhere. Oh, and she has pink hair because she is a Lumian. *cough*totally did not make up the Lumians just to give people weird hair colors*cough*.

Also, her name was originally Des Mione. I changed it for 2 reasons. First, I always intended it to be pronounced Dess Mióne, and someone said they read it as Dameon. Second, I most likely subconsciously got it from Des Moine, Iowa.

Gates was designed to be a happy fellow. I don’t really have too much notes on him. I never pointed it out explicitly, but he used to be a slave. He has the telltale marks of the Scar Hound shackles somewhere on his body (I forgot where), but the marks are crossed out, meaning he’s free. I suppose for those that noticed it, he represents the fact that slavery is so accepted in Sorcnon, no one will really try anything to change it, even former slaves.

Master Lio is the head master at the Epis Tam Dojo. Also, the Epis Tam Dojo was named after Episteme, the Greek concept of fact (as opposed to opinion). The Dojo was originally named the Angkrab Dojo, but I thought it sounded off later on.

Master Lio is pretty much an older martial arts master. I never set exactly how much he knows, but he is can take down feastends despite not being one. He tries to push for the best in his students but only because he’s paid. He’s not the kind of person to stay afterwards and give extra help for nothing.

Bahri is just another instructor, something I used to fill out the school so it didn’t seem like there were only 2 people teaching, with one of them only handling one student. He is a Misker, just like Master Lio. He has the most training in guns out of anyone in the Epis Tam Dojo.

Radils Siltern was made purely because I thought I needed some more male characters. All of the major characters were female, which I thought would be too unbalanced. He’s also a good way to show the point of view of other wealthy people in Anmaul. I don’t really have much of a plan for him, however.

Gilliam was designed to be a cool pretty-boy type. He doesn’t speak, and I don’t know if its because he doesn’t want to, or because he smokes too much and his voice is wrecked. Probably the first as I’ve only shown him smoking in one scene. He’s actually a bodyguard, similar to Selaf, and is quite skilled in hand-to-hand combat and marksmanship.

The Anthelia Maiden came about due to my want to have a pale-skinned, black-haired woman. She’s taciturn, but does have emotions. They are just rarely displayed. She’ll also become more important in the later books. For now, though, she’s just a figurehead. It is possible for there to be an Anthelia Lord. Nothing about the position says it has to be held by a female. Perhaps I made her dress a bit ridiculous, but the metal hooks are designed to be easy to tear off if she ever needed to move quickly.

The Council. I decided to make the Sorcnon government a council because they’re usually a group of old people, menacingly set in their ways. There are six of them in total, and five of the were introduced in the first book. I’m curious to see if the sixth one might be more important, or if I just wanted to add some life in having them not all be available at all times.

There’s not too much to say about them. If the story warrants it, I’ll give them individual plots. For the time being, though, they are only there to be an all-powerful group, something that every rich person aspires too.

I think I’ll do the other characters in the next post, the more important characters. Hallas, Mina/Fally, Hethyr and the rest.

Thanks for reading.

The Universe

Whaaaat? The Universe?

I was just recently watching some videos about the Universe, how it works and all that fun stuff. I really enjoy all the theories put forth on why things work, especailly hearing the scientists say how easy things could just rip apart. The scale of it is really amazing. There are apparently, an uncountable amount of galaxies and each galaxy has billions of stars. Each star could have a system of planets rotating around it.

And space is really empty. Our galaxy is, apparently, going to collide with another galaxy in about a few trillion years. This is with things moving pretty near the speed of light. Light speed is too slow. What we need is ludicrous speed. Also, don’t take my numbers at face value, I don’t really remember exactly what was said, just the basic idea.

But anyway, space is really empty. Two galaxies colliding against each other and almost nothing will hit each other. Planets won’t hit each other, stars won’t, moons won’t, stuff just won’t. The real danger is the gasses heating up. According to scientists, the two galaxies would eventually merge into one.

I think the study of the universe and how it works is very fascinating. I’m kind of a big picture guy, (an excuse I use to my failings is that it doesn’t matter in the grand-grand scheme of things). The computer simulated appearance of what the universe would look like if we could clearly see it was magnificent.

There was also another show that talked about the possibilty for alien life, and how based on probability, it’s out there. I can buy that. With that many solar systems, some places must have conditions to sustain life. It’s probably just too far apart to feasibly make any contact.

I would certainly like it if we spent more time developing a space program. Things seemed to have slowed down greatly after the moon landing.

Another place I would like explored are the deep-oceans really. It is like another world down there, almost alien-like. Things are so different at that depth that the animals living down are just as strange as any aliens we could conceive of.

Science fiction is fun and all, but the real universe is also grand and amazing, even if it works on a timescale in the billion of years just to do something.

Well, I’m just rambling for a bit here after watching some theoretical shows on the universe. Thanks for reading.